Prayer of a Husband with an Evil Wife
“Evil” maybe should be “angry,” “nasty,” or “spiteful.” But still, imagine finding this in your Portals of Prayer or other devotion book! Probably they aren’t there because now if Christians have an evil wife or husband they don’t spend years and years praying about it, because if you’re in an unhappy marriage even church people expect you to get a divorce and go find your “soul mate.” But it was not always this way, even though people still had the same problems we do.
And no, the Gebets-Schatz does not hate women. There are two prayers in it for wives with lousy husbands–one for a wife with an evil husband, and another: “Gebet eine Frau, die einen wuesten und unfreundlichen Mann hat.” Which means something like, “Prayer of a wife who has a wild and disagreeable husband.”
And finally, in case anyone was wondering, my wife is not boese. She probably has already prayed a small gebetbuch worth of prayers about her “wild and disagreeable husband.”
156. Prayer of a husband who has an evil wife (originally from Michael Cubach, Grosses und vollkommnes Gebetbuch )
[Cubach was a bookseller in Lueneberg, Germany, who put together this prayer treasury which was popular in the 1600’s and 1700’s…it was 1400-odd pages long and contained prayers for every conceivable occasion, such as “Prayer when one is tormented at home by ghosts or thieves or such like,” and “Prayer for parents to whom are born twins, one successfully, the other stillborn. He didn’t write this prayer; he got it from someone else. His huge Gebets-Schatz can be found here: http://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/dms/werkansicht/?PPN=PPN67036214X&PHYSID=PHYS_0910 ]
Evangelische Lutherische Gebets-Schatz, p. 97.
Lord God, heavenly Father, I knew in the past, and I still know that this station in which you have put me is pleasing to you. All I undertake and all the trouble and suffering I endure in this station to which you have called me are acceptable offerings to you, for the sake of Your beloved Son, my Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ, whom I glorify, love, and confess. You see now my mourning and the misery in which I am stuck, and how I am caught in such helplessness and distress that no human help is able to rescue me. I, a poor and afflicted man, sadly, have an unhappy marriage with my wife, because she is stubborn, contemptuous, spiteful, and negligent in managing the house. The whole thing cuts me deeply, to be this way for so long with my marriage-companion. I have no hours of happiness, rest, and peace with her, and I fear that through this my whole household will be run into the ground.
I have hit a wall; I cannot find any way out. I bring my complaint to you, which pours from an anguished heart. I cry to you, imploring you that you would pay attention to my need. As a gracious Father be understanding toward me so that, with time, our marriage may turn around. Lend Your Grace and Spirit to my wife, that her reason and good sense would return to her, and that she would show herself kind, uncomplaining, and gentle toward me. Grant that I truly hold her in love and esteem and that I may not be stubborn, domineering, and harsh myself, and thus give the wicked, evil foe no reason or opportunity to incite more discord and further drive a wedge between us. Through this we would be hindered in our prayers and also kept from receiving blessing and prosperity in body and soul.
Oh Lord! Teach us to will and to do according to Your good pleasure, and let Your good Spirit lead us in the right way, that in true marital love we may walk hand in hand. Let us especially pursue that peace in the home by which marriage is made attractive, each one giving a little and taking a little. In this way let us live out our lives in blessed peace, thriving and prospering together, until we lay down our married life and come to live eternally with You in Your heavenly kingdom, that we may boast in Your salvation and praise Your wonderful works. Amen.
- A husband’s prayer after his wife has delivered a stillborn child (1752) (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)